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Virology. 2002 Jan 20;292(2):272-84.

Hepatitis C virus core protein induces cell proliferation and activates ERK, JNK, and p38 MAP kinases together with the MAP kinase phosphatase MKP-1 in a HepG2 Tet-Off cell line.

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  • 1Klinik für Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie, und Infektiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein is a multifunctional protein interacting with cellular and viral proteins and promoters. A tetracycline-regulated system was used to generate a HepG2 Tet-Off cell line allowing regulated expression of a full-length (191 aa) and an N(c)-truncated core protein (160 aa). In this system HCV core protein expression activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, induces MAP kinase phosphatase MKP-1 expression, and increases cell proliferation. This was accompanied by an activation of c-Jun and ATF-2, but not Elk-1 and c-Fos. Furthermore, AP-1 activation was independent of c-Fos. Full-length and N(c)-truncated HCV core proteins exerted similar effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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